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Sep 18, 2:00 PM EDT

Health law enrollment now 7.3M

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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration says 7.3 million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law - down from 8 million reported earlier this year.

Medicare Administrator Marilyn Tavenner (TAV'-eh-nur) updated the numbers at a hearing Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

As expected, the latest figures showed slippage. Insurers had said that about 10 percent of their new policyholders failed to seal the deal by paying their first month's premium.

Tavenner, whose agency oversees HealthCare.gov, said the new count represents paying customers as of Aug. 15. She expects total enrollment to remain basically stable until the next open enrollment season starts Nov. 15.

After a chaotic launch, the numbers are still positive for the administration. Enrollment is projected to grow next year.

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